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How To Delete a Facebook Pixel

Posted by Jamie on April 24, 2019

Facebook has long been one of the biggest companies on the internet, and it seems like no amount of scandals and other problematic elements of the company will ever manage to bring them down. Though you probably think of Facebook as a social network, they’re also a massive advertising company, one of the largest and most important ones of the 21st century. Every time you browse Facebook or Instagram, you’re given a slew of advertisements from partners trying to target you with content daily. The advertisement targeting has gotten so specific, most people assume Facebook is listening to their conversations using the microphones on their phones and tablets while connected to the web—a scary, Black Mirror-esque thought.

If you’re looking to delete a Facebook pixel from your site, you’re probably a content owner who advertises regularly on Facebook. There’s plenty of reasons to get rid of your Facebook advertising strategy, but unfortunately, Facebook makes it hard to remove pixels in general. If you’re an end-user, a regular consumer of Facebook who recently learned about pixels on Facebook and wants to get rid of any tracking of your browsing data, you may also find yourself between a rock and a hard place. Still, let’s take a look at what a Facebook pixel does, what you can do to work around it, whether you can truly delete it, and how you can avoid being tracked by Facebook.

What is a Facebook pixel?

If you aren’t living around the world of advertising, seeing “pixel” next to “Facebook” in a sentence probably doesn’t mean much to you. To many, the word “pixel” conjures Google’s phone line, and perhaps more accurately, their excellent cameras for which they’re named. Perhaps you’re thinking of the pixels on the display you’re reading this on right now, millions of which make up the images and videos we consume every day online. What you’re probably not thinking about, however, is the ideas surrounding a pixel as a piece of information designed by Facebook in order to give you improved targeted advertisements, something that, to be honest, can be a bit controversial in its general use.

As a too, the Facebook pixel is an analytics tool, a piece of code designed to be placed within a website in order to track users as they use a site with pixel enabled. As detailed by Facebook on their pixel site, the tool is triggered when someone visits a website and performs an action. The pixel automatically reports the action, letting the site owner know that someone used their site after seeing an advertisement on Facebook. It also allows for the customer to be reached again using a custom audience tool when setting up a new advertisement. In theory, the pixel is one of the many ways that Facebook allows advertisers of all sizes to get better at delivering ads to people who are more likely to click on the ad.

In terms of code, the pixel uses JavaScript in order to be added directly to the header of a website. The JavaScript code can be of any size, and is associated with a 1×1 pixels image file that a website owner can place just inside the opening <HEAD> tag of their website.

How does Facebook pixel work?

With those lofty goals in mind, how does the Facebook pixel work? The JavaScript is added to each web page and can identify when someone lands on your web page, their IP address, location, browser information and device they are using. While it may sound creepy, this is normal. Google Analytics and other services do exactly the same thing. When your page is loaded, the JavaScript runs and the Facebook pixel reports back, creating a log along with a unique identifier. You can then access anonymized data from all your pixel reports in the Facebook Business Manager. You can then see where your readers live, what devices they use, what browsers they use, how long they were on your site and what pages they accessed while they were there. You can use this information to optimize pages for certain geographic regions, for mobile, for desktop, remarket to visitors or whatever you need.

There is apparently a steep learning curve for implementing a Facebook pixel. There are also quite a few requests for information on how to delete a Facebook pixel from users who made a mistake or who no longer want it on a page.

Delete a Facebook pixel

Unfortunately, there are some major issues when it comes to deleting a Facebook pixel from your website. As with most things, Facebook makes it extremely hard to remove them from your life, and that includes deleting Facebook pixel data. It’s also important to note that you can’t delete a pixel with data on you; for example, if you’re a normal consumer on Facebook and not a business manager, you won’t be able to “delete” the pixels Facebook makes for its advertisers. Outside of giving you more advertisements based on what you click on, the pixel is really out of the end users control, unless you use ad-blocking and disable tracking on sites in order to preserve your privacy and increase your chances of not being advertised too (however, if you’re concerned about privacy as an end-user, being on Facebook might be a bad place to spend your time).

As a website owner, deleting a pixel from your site is as easy as removing the code from your site. Facebook allows you to set up your pixel using either manual code integration or by injecting the code into your website through services like Wix, Squarespace, and other prominent online sites. Because a pixel is simply a piece of code implemented into your website, you can remove it from your site by deleting the code implemented in your header. If you used the injection method to place the code in your site, it’s also possible to delete the code using that tool. Facebook’s guide specifically uses Squarespace as a reference guide for deleting the pixel from your injected code, but it should also be similar for most online site designers.

Obviously, the major downside here comes from the fact that the site doesn’t actually delete the pixel from your Facebook business tool, even after you’ve removed the pixel from your site. What it does do, however, is remove the possibility of the pixel able to activate and track any of your consumers as they visit your site. While this isn’t the same thing as completely deleting the information, the pixel should sit in your business account, unused and unable to track any additional data on behalf of your website and advertisements.

Avoiding Being Tracked by Facebook

If you aren’t the creator of a website, but instead, a privacy-minded individual who is worried about being tracked without your knowledge by Facebook, there’s only so much you can do when trying to avoid being tracked online by Facebook. Luckily, by using extensions and other tools designed for browsers like Chrome, there’s some steps you can take to avoid in order to make sure you’re being tracked as little as possible. Here are some tips to avoiding the dreadful pixel and to being smart with your privacy online:

    • Take a look at your ad preferences: Facebook allows you to adjust some of the ad preferences on your browser, and it’s a good idea to use that tool to make sure you’re avoiding being tracked as much as possible. Obviously, you’re adjusting your tracking preferences while still living in Facebook’s world, so it’s important to make sure that you understand there’s still a good chance your Facebook account continues to track much of your information, no matter how hard you try to make it private.
    • Use an ad blocker that doubles as a script blocker: uBlock Origin is a great ad blocker for many, many reasons, but it also doubles as a way to block certain scripts of the websites you visit so you no longer have to deal with them. Other tools like PrivacyBadger and NoScript do similar things when blocking sites from tracking your cookies and other ad tools online.
    • Opt out of tracking: The US link to do this is right here; for those in other countries, most search engines will reveal what your ability is to opt out of tracking depending on your location. For example, Europe has a service for all its countries here.
    • Delete Facebook: Look, this one is rather obvious, but if you’re concerned about the privacy implications of Facebook tracking your account through their pixel service, the easiest way to remedy that situation is to delete your Facebook account in order to remove their site from your life altogether. If they can’t track you, you have nothing to worry about.

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Like many things, Facebook has done a fantastic job at infecting the entire web and making it difficult to escape from within the mega-social network, but with a few steps, you can escape the pixel and live a fairly private life. If you’re looking to disable the pixel you built within your business account through Facebook, outside of removing it from your website, you’ll likely find it to be a difficult task to delete it altogether. Still, by disabling the pixel and leaving it without a purpose or operation, you can make sure that both your followers and yourself are safe from the tracking procedures of Facebook.

5 thoughts on “How To Delete a Facebook Pixel”

Wendy Gaylard says:
We uploaded Facebook Pixel manually by downloading the plugin and uploading it via site admin and when enabling it our site crashed – error 500 and that lovely white black screen with no way to get back into admin to disable and delete.

What on earth do we do now?

I can’t seem to find any guide online and no file resembling Facebook Pixel in FTP or Database.

HELP!

Reply
Giorgio Stangherlin says:
There is no ACTION in the lower menu. No lower menu actually. And no X to delete anything. I’ve contacted support and they say IT’S NOT POSSIBLE TO DELETE A PIXEL, only deactivate it by removing the code from the site. This is outrageous.
Reply
Nick Thorsch says:
This isn’t actually correct, try it, these functions don’t exist. Specifically “Select the ‘X’ on the right of the name of the pixel to delete it.”

DELETE A FACEBOOK PIXEL
If you want to delete a Facebook pixel, it is actually very straightforward once you know how.

Log into your Facebook Business Manager.
Select the correct account if you have more than one.
Navigate to Tools and then Pixels.
Select Actions in the lower menu and then Edit pixel.
Select the ‘X’ on the right of the name of the pixel to delete it.
Deletion is immediate and tracking for that pixel will stop right away.

Reply
Dave says:
Exactly man. Any uodates yet? Were you able to stop the tracking and/or delete the pixel?
Reply
Rolf says:
Correct, there is no X to delete it with?
ies says:
Lynda, I am a newby as well, but came across this article, which may be an answer to your question. https://developers.facebook.com/docs/marketing-api/audiences-api/pixel
Reply
Lynda says:
Can I create a pixel for my 2nd business page that is linked to my personal account?
Reply

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